Himas Nur’s work underlines something so close, so pertinent, but remains obscure from so many: how queer solidarity and intimacy can become a strong, liberating exploratory force. Sometimes, that’s all we need to create a warm, welcoming home in Southeast Asia.
What’s the future gonna look like? I don’t even know how to answer that. Nobody takes us seriously around here.Rain, questioning, 21, Bandar Lampung
Rain said those words with a hint of finality in their voice. It indeed represents the anxiety we often feel.
Rain is one of the five friends who is helping me finish this final assignment called “imagining the future”. It’s sending my mind into quite a bit of a spiral. Before losing it completely, I decided to seek help from those whom I’m guessing would be just as puzzled upon thinking of any kind of “future”.
Even imagining it is this difficult. Imagine that.
I don’t want to think too far ahead while I still tend to ignore the present moment. What I’m thinking now is how to make myself happy and content with whatever process I’m going through today.Rianti, trans woman, 31, Mataram Nusa Tenggara Barat
In the past few years, Rianti has grown increasingly more confident. Especially since she started living in Mataram—a city where she can be fully embraced by a community that continues to help her grow. I’ve learned a lot from her: it’s not toxic positivity, but it’s really about how each of us truly has the right to feel joy.
Although our internalised hatred screams at us much louder than that belief, sometimes. So very loud.
Why is it so difficult for me to get out of my suicidal thoughts? You know, there’s no meaning in depression. None at all. But when there is meaning, I can move forward, get on with life. Even if maybe today I’ll ‘just’ be doing basic survival stuff, but you know, like getting out of bed can be an achievement, not giving up, not choosing to die before it’s really my time. I’m utilising my existence to focus on myself, on solitude, vibing, flowing, healing, self-care.Nadiya, genderqueer, 27, Yogyakarta
I cried upon rereading this interview transcript with them. I cried the first time, the second time, the third time… I’m crying now.
So close. So visceral. Nadiya has saved me.
I really don’t feel so alone anymore.
The future? That’s today, isn’t it?
An ideal future for me is a future where I can live in full honesty. Success for me is being able to live a fulfilling life, to be mentally and physically healthy, to bring good to others and to oneself.B. Chandra, nonbinary, 19, Semarang
There’s an old Javanese saying which goes, “Honesty breeds misery.” I think I need to throw that saying out the window and into the ocean.
It’s just not easy when every representation of ourselves around us tries so hard to make us believe in that saying.
It’s lucky that I have them.
At least, slowly, I can learn to be honest.
Writing my heart’s truth. Writing my identity.
In the future, I’d like to be more honest with myself on all of the things I feel and the conditions I’m in. I want to acknowledge every bit of my happiness, my illness, my fatigue. I want to give myself the warmest hug possible, in whatever condition I am in. Because at the end of the day, I’ll have to live with myself. I just want to be the authentic me. Whatever form that authenticity takes, I want to be there, to show up for myself.Ipw, agender, 26, Ambarawa
And Ipw does give the warmest hug, a hug I want to relive over and over again. I want to be their friend forever.
Maybe these friends are my future.
And that’s enough.
for then we become the ocean, from which we grow into a thousand: fragments of 'I', forwards in motion